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on 6 September 2012
My knitting skills can only be described as `a hat and scarf knitter'. I can knit a basic pattern of stocking stitch and then only using one colour of wool. But after having the book for two weeks, I can knit stripes and moss stitch, increase and decrease properly instead of using my own hotchpotch method and have gone on to buying a more intricate and detailed knitting pattern.
Ultimate Knitting Bible is written by Sharon Brant, who with twelve years of working with Rowan certainly knows how to write an easy to follow manual. The book is a good weight, with thick pages and most importantly large diagrams that are easy to follow. The book begins with `Getting Started' explaining the many types of knitting needles and equipment and what they are used for. It then progresses into different types and thicknesses of yarn and later explaining the many abbreviations used on knitting patterns (something that has put me off many a knitting pattern).
What I have noticed about this book when I have shown it to other knitters of different skill levels is that it seems to always bring the reaction of "I didn't know that", for example, the many different ways to `cast-on'. As you work your way through the many attractive colour coded chapters, it becomes clear that `Ultimate Knitting Bible' is an essential reference not only for beginners, but for experienced knitters as well. It must be made clear that this book does not have projects to make; it is purely a guide and a reference. It does however have little practise patterns to knit small squares of what you have learnt so far. For experienced knitters, some of the sections include advice on making your own patterns, construction of outfits, gathers and flares, shaping and how to knit ` Fair Isle ` (something I still feel I would need to be shown!). A nice touch at the rear of the book is a chapter on `How to Crochet'. Starting right from the basics of how to hold your hook and yarn, to how to create a crochet finish to your knitting.
All in all, I can thoroughly recommend this book. It is easy to follow and looks attractive as a coffee table book to flick through. For me personally I would still need help with some of the more difficult practises. However, as a guide and a reference, the `Ultimate Knitting Bible' is perfect.
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on 18 August 2010
The first knitting book I ever used was Claire Montgomerie's Easy Kids Knits. From that book, I knitted up a big teddy bear for my daughter - however that book has very clear, well-laid-out, easy to follow instructions - nothing like the very abbreviated, shortened descriptions one normally finds in many knitting patterns.

When I bought my first pattern from Sirdar, I realised that I'd need a knitting bible of some sort to make sense of the pattern instructions. I was very wary of purchasing one before trying though, as there seems to be negative reviews for almost every knitting bible book out there (surprisingly this one hasn't gotten one yet, but that could be because it has 9 reviews so far, which doesn't seem a lot compared to other knitting bibles on Amazon). This was the only knitting bible I found in my local library and I'm very glad I stumbled upon this in the library because now I know I'd definitely buy it once I return it to the library.

It has a wealth of information, all presented very matter-of-factly, succinctly and clearly.
For every common knitting technique there is that you can find in most patterns, this will explain and teach it to you.
The one other thing I love about this book are the "sampler" projects for some key chapters of the book, which if you have the time and patience to try out, will certainly ground you in all the basics (and intermediates) of knitting before you even attempt to knit a proper item using those very techniques.

There's also a short chapter at the back which teaches you the essential basics of crochet (because crochet techniques are sometimes really useful to enhance a knitted piece of work) and includes a sampler project so you can familiarise yourself with the crochet techniques. You will come off it being able to crochet simple patterns and also circular patterns too.

The only problem I can foresee about this book would be that it is no substitute for watching someone knit and learning by watching. For that, YouTube videos and online knitting videos have been very helpful for me to grasp certain techniques which I might find hard to understand just from looking at diagrams in a book. Other than that, I think this is a really useful knitting bible to have at hand.
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on 27 July 2013
I started knitting a year ago, so I bought this. Initially this was my knitting bible, but now spends most of the time on the shelf gathering dust. It has basic techniques, but despite being quite a large tome, doesn't go into depth so I have had to source information elsewhere on more complex casting on, casting off and lace techniques. I refer to it occasionally, but most likely will donate to charity in the next clean out round.
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on 27 January 2015
This book provides clear guidance, with excellent photographs and helpful tips on the skills you will need to learn to complete most knitting patterns. I have a number of knitting books and this is the one I return to again and again as the most reliable and understandable. Whilst I did not use it as a beginner, I would have thought it would also be excellent for any new starter, either to follow themselves if they have no help or as a support to tuition. It includes a good 'troubleshooting' section to help if something goes wrong or needs changing and additional skills that you will probably need with knitting, such as basic crochet, embroidery and making pompoms. I was pleased to see that no extra space was taken with patterns, except for a child's sock, which is used to demonstrate the technique of knitting socks and their structure. I find that the book has so much in it, the contents are not the best means of finding things. Thankfully, it has a very good index.
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on 22 February 2018
This is an amazing book. I've been knitting for years, but it still has loads of things to teach me. The instructions are clear and easy to follow too - I'm sure it would work for both beginners and more experienced knitters. It covers both basic skills and more advanced techniques, with great diagrams and pictures and even some practice pieces. There aren't any patterns as such, it's not that kind of a book. If you only ever buy one book to help you knit, buy this one.
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VINE VOICEon 5 April 2011
This is almost the perfect knitting reference book, everything well illustrated with easy to use diagrams and photographs. The writing style is gentle and direct, never didactic or berating, presenting alternatives in an easy to read style. It covers all the information you need both to get started and for more complicated kitting techniques, including:

yarns including how to read a wool ball band
a variety of cast ons and offs
knit and purl stitch including variations such as continentals and left handed knitting
simple stitches such as moss and rib
edge stitches
joining in yarn
shaping, increases, decreases, sizing, corners, pleats, tucks, bias and socks
reading patterns and charts, abbreviations and terminology
texture, including cables, crossed stitches, twists, bobbles and lace knitting
colour, including stripes, intarsia, charts and fair isle
embellishments, including beading, sequins, fringing, cords, pom poms, felting, crochet and embroidery
finishing techniques, including grafting, seams, bands, hems, facings, buttonholes, buttons, zips and linings
troubleshooting, including dropped stitches, unravelling work, uneven knitting, mending, correcting colour and cables
designing and adapting patterns, including calculating stitches and rows, graphing, altering and designing
glossary and index

My only slight complaint would be the size, it's quite big and I would like a little portable version, maybe spiral bound, but I do understand that big and clear would also be a distinct advantage.
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on 21 December 2015
This is my third purchase of a 'complete' reference book and so far it has indeed answered all my questions/offered useful hints. It's easy to read without being too complicated and the illustrations are good. I'm keeping this one-till I run up against a problem it won't resolve. (The others went to a charity shop.) I'm an intermediate knitter, strong on lace/cables but less so on intarsia/Fair Isle.
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on 14 March 2013
I bought this for my wife who has begun knitting as a hobby. I believed this to be a "complete reference with step by step instructions". It is to some degree - it will teach you each technique to knitting, however it doesn't do this practically. There are no practical exercises to work through to teach you steps or anything - it is merely pictures of techniques and a description.

Will probably be very useful to certain people, but it's spent the last few months gathering dust on my book shelf!
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on 3 August 2016
Had not done any knitting for many years and had forgotten most of what I had learned! This book has proved invaluable with clear instructions for even the most complicated procedures. Love it! Just need to find a way to stop the cats "helping"!!
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on 28 January 2018
Bought as a present for the wife and she say's she loves it, and has learnt so much in a short time
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